Plutopian Week: Beatles, Vaccines, Bateson, Solarpunk, Land Art

by Plutopia News Network
Published: Last Updated on
Image of Solarpunk Flag by @Starwall@radical.town

Music of the Plutopian Spheres

We’ve started watching Peter Jackson’s documentary “The Beatles: Get Back.” It shows the older and evolving “Fab Four” in the act of creating music for their final album release, “Let It Be.” Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot many hours of film, and recorded additional audio, for the feature film “Let It Be,” which was released in 1970. It’s a rare glimpse into the creative process of a band, in this case a band that had matured to the point that its members were feeling an urge to go their own way. But they still work together and play together as a band, and watching their group creative process is pretty wonderful for those who are into it.

Original directors Lindsay-Hogg’s perspective, via Rolling Stone: [link]

Plutopian Perusals

Cory Doctorow on vaccine equity: https://pluralistic.net/2021/11/28/somos-cuba/#omishambles

Cory has a great metaphor for the problem of limited global vaccine distribution: “Dividing the world into vaccine haves and have-nots is like dividing a swimming pool so it has a ‘pissing end’ and a ‘no pissing’ end. We’re still all in the same pool. Humanity has a shared epidemiological destiny.”

He goes on to discuss the imposition of “vaccine Apartheid” on the global south, and how it facilitates the spread and mutation of the virus. Big Pharma and corporate actors like Bill Gates lobbied against a waiver that would allow poor countries to copy and produce vaccines. Meanwhile the virus spreads, and we have new variations like Omicron.

Cory talks about Cuba’s vaccine development and production and how its conventional protein vaccines might find broader distribution, which would be helpful. But the WTO waiver would be much more helpful.

In another piece about Covid, Steven Johnson writes about the potential aftermath.

Silver linings: we’ve invented and perfected the mRNA platform, and ordinary people have learned a lot about viruses, vaccines, and public health measures. And next time we have the threat of a pandemic, many of us will have learned a “pandemic mode” – we’ll take action much more quickly.

So it’s been a learning experience.

So much of COVID has played out, for me at least, in these very intimate acts and decisions: how to keep your children—or your parents—safe? How to maintain the rituals of growing up—the basketball games and the proms but also just the day-to-day normalcy of hanging with your friends and seeing their faces—while still protecting their health and the health of the more vulnerable people around them? At least for those of us willing to acknowledge the reality of the outbreak, it’s been 20 months of non-stop risk analysis and threat management, for risks and threats that have usually been mysterious and ill-defined.

Johnson’s Substack post references an article he was preparing for the New York Times – here’s a link to that article.

Plutopian thinking

Kevin Russell gave me a pointer to Ted Gioia, a writer I had somehow missed. He has a Substack blog that’s worth reading: https://tedgioia.substack.com/ But while checking him out, I found an essay he’d written for the Los Angeles Review of Books called “Why Gregory Bateson Matters.” Many years ago I followed Bateson and found that his thinking and writing resonated deeply. Gioia sees Bateson as a quintessential thought leader for the 60s counterculture as well as the digital culture that followed.

As I consider the cumulative impact of Bateson’s wide-ranging vocations and experiences, I reach the conclusion that this polymath was the connecting node in the counterculture and the single best person to give a large holistic expression to its ambitions and achievements. More to the point, his perspective is not only still relevant — something that can’t be said for many other gurus of that bygone day — but is perfectly attuned to the peculiar areas of dysfunction in our own time.

Also…

Joe Lightfoot published a much-discussed “Metamodern Solarpunk Manifesto.”

It’s a series of bullet points that “is a mashup of ideas from the work of Hanzi Frienacht, Seth Abramson, The Solar Punk Manifesto and Andrew Dana Hudson.” It’s supposed to provide a sense of direction for new neotribal thinking. Examples:

  • Attempt to understand and work with, rather than deny the existence of hierarchies. We lovingly aikido throw dominator hierarchies into growth hierarchies at every opportunity.
  • Assume a playful stance towards life and existence, a play­ful­ness that demands of us the gravest seriousness, given the ever-present potentials for unimaginable suffering and bliss.
  • Embrace playful, humble, futuristic aesthetics to catalyse a movement. Imagine highly ornamental nature motifs overlaid with Arts & Craft, Jugaad, Miyazaki, Wakanda, Art Nouveau and Retro-Galactic sensibilities all rolled into one widely interpreted visual mélange.
  • Consider and attempt to include all cultures, religions, ages, income brackets, abilities, sexes, genders and sexual identities.
  • Recognise that our psycho-biological systems evolved in tribal contexts, thus we have a sneaking suspicion that we may never achieve genuine contentment until some semblance of such a lifestyle has been re-imagined in our modern culture.

These and others in the hash of ideas align pretty well with the Plutopian endeavor. Read the manifesto and sign up for The Lightfoot Letter.

Plutopian people

Jon Foreman creates “land art,” similar to the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

The sculpture images at https://sculpttheworld.smugmug.com/Stone/ inspire an earth aesthetic, finding and making natural-world patterns that, positioned within transitory natural environments, are ephemeral and powerful.

You can also see his work on his Instagram.

Image: Solarpunk Flag by @Starwall@radical.town

Liked it? Take a second to support {sitename} on Patreon!

You may also like

Leave a Comment